- 07 Feb 23
International aid begins to pour in as the death toll rises after the 7.8 earthquake and 7.5 aftershock which hit Turkey and Syria early Monday morning.
On Monday, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake covering 17.9km hit Turkey along the North Anatolian fault line near Gaziantep. A 7.6-magnitude tremor aftershock followed about nine hours later 130km away in the north.
While the epicenter was in Turkey, war-torn Syria was also heavily impacted. The major Syrian city of Aleppo, which is embroiled in the civil war conflict, was within the area hit.
Now, Turkish officials confirm at least 3,400 killed, while the death toll across both countries surpasses 5,000. Monday's earthquake is the strongest in Turkey since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, which killed 32,968 and injured about 100,000. 1999 saw an earthquake in Turkey that killed about 18,000.
Despite this, however, the fault-line has been quiet until recently. Officials believe it led people to become ill-prepared.
Inquiries into the upkeep of infrastructure, and building's capabilities of withstanding or being prepared for earthquakes, have risen as people assess the damage to buildings in the aftermath.
The Turkish government has asked people to leave affected metropolitan areas, like Saliurfa, to avoid future causalities. The buildings that remain standing are still at risk for collapse as the structures may have been weakened.
For example, the Atartürk Dam in southeastern Turkey, the third largest dam in the world, has reportedly developed cracks after the earthquake. The local area is being evacuated amidst fears that the dam may break. The projected flooding area is 30 square kilometres.
Daily World News on Twitter has released drone footage showing a collapsed building in Gaziantep.
📝🇹🇷TURKISH CITY OF GAZIANTEP, DEVASTATION: Drone footage shows collapsed buildings in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, where rescuers are frantically working to free people from the rubble, after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, killing thousands. pic.twitter.com/UyRivmu4eY
— 🌐World News 24 🌍🌎🌏 (@DailyWorld24) February 7, 2023
When the quake hit at 4:17 AM TRT (1:17 AM GMT), most people were sleeping in their homes, leading many people to become trapped in their residences.
There have also been reports of hospitals abandoned, with patients left "forgotten" by fleeing medical staff in Antakya, Turkey. The main government hospital in Antakya was also partially destroyed.
Online, countless videos and pictures of the destruction are shared by those on the ground. Public calls for more aid and descriptions of the disaster's severity are tweeted alongside videos of rescue efforts.
The rescue effort is largely led by local volunteers working together to dig their neighbours out of collapsed buildings with whatever it is they have available. Some teams have access to excavating equipment, some use whatever is available, including their bare hands. They follow the calls for help beneath the rubble to survivors.
One rescue team, Syria's White Helmets, operates in the north-western region of Syria. It is a rebel-controlled region where many people flea to from the more prominent fighting areas of the civil war.
Syria's White Helmets are an organisation of about 3,000 volunteers, dedicated to providing humanitarian work to helping local communities prepare, respond, and recover from attacks. They've been posting regular updates of rescue efforts and casualties.
At least 1,000 have been confirmed dead in Syria, with expectations for the numbers to rise as rescue efforts continue.
International aid is beginning to trickle in. UN Humanitarian officials confirmed the deployment of soldiers, aid, and rescue from nations across the globe to help with the disaster.
13 teams from around the world deployed & 39 more are on their way under @UNOCHA's coordination in response to the earthquake near the #Türkiye-#Syria border.
⁰These teams will provide crucial support for emergency response and search and rescue efforts.
⁰#UNDAC @Insarag pic.twitter.com/XLol0Rd2HP
— UN Humanitarian (@UNOCHA) February 7, 2023
The EU is sending a search and rescue team in addition to utilising the Copernicus satellite system to provide emergency mapping services.
The challenges rescue teams face are not limited to the horrific conditions they will find victims in. The UN has already announced that aid from Turkey to northwest Syria will be halted because of damaged roads.
Rescue efforts will also have to combat recent bouts of poor weather, such as snowfall, wind, and heavy thunderstorms.
- Film & TV
- 24 Mar 23